Ontario has added etanercept biosimilar Erelzi to public drug plan

January 10, 2018 10:32 AM

Ontario is the most recent province to have added Erelzi (etanercept) to its public drug plan for the treatment of multiple inflammatory diseases.

The provincial listing, effective on December 21, 2017, follows the conclusion of an agreement between the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) and Sandoz Canada, allowing member provincial, territorial and federal drug plans to fund this therapy for patients. Erelzi, by Sandoz, a Novartis company, was granted Health Canada approval in April 2017 and was launched in Canada in August 2017. Public access to Erelzi is also available in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

Erelzi is reimbursed under specific criteria for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults, and for reducing signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In addition, Erelzi will be the only biosimilar to be reimbursed for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in patients aged 4 to 17. JIA is a condition that affects about three out of 1,000 children and teenagers in Canada.

“The biosimilar Erelzi adds to the choices that patients and rheumatologists have to treat inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile arthritis,” said Dr. Janet Pope, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario, Schulich School of Medicine, London. “The government of Ontario is demonstrating its commitment to making therapy for these diseases more broadly available in order to improve the lives of more patients.”

“Sandoz is pleased that Ontario recognizes the important impact that access to Erelzi can have on reducing the burden of disease and delivering important savings to the healthcare system and the public drug plan,” said Nadia Turchetta, Executive Director, Biopharmaceuticals, Sandoz Canada. “Erelzi is another concrete example of how Sandoz is making access happen by offering high-quality medicines at a more affordable price, which will deliver important savings to the healthcare system.”

ErelziTM is available in a pre-filled syringe (PFS) and in the SensoReady® pre-filled pen (PFP), an ergonomic device for patients with limited dexterity. Erelzi is available in a 25 mg and 50 mg PFS, and is the only etanercept available in a 25 mg PFS.

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